Forums: Skydiving: Instructors:
Are Coaches the Weakest Link?

 

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JohnDeere  (D License)

Sep 11, 2008, 8:21 PM
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Re: [kallend] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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We're all sorry. We all know that you're the best teacher to ever have lived.Unsure

Don't know about THAT...

I wasn't going to mention it, but since YOU bring it up, I am the person who was chosen as the mentor for new teaching assistants AND new assistant professors, and I do have 5 "Excellence in Teaching" awards - two more than anyone else in the 115 year history of our school. Smile

Whoa you deserve a cookieCrazy


Squeak  (E 1313)

Sep 11, 2008, 9:45 PM
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Re: [peek] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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But I want that college degree so there I sit.

I understand those points. Unless I misunderstand you, they are based on an endless number of people wanting college degrees, so they do what it takes.

We do not have a huge number of people wanting USPA ratings, so my point is that we should not insult those who want their ratings and already have experience in basic instructional concepts.
I'm a professional educator and from all accounts a reasonably good one. I know of many who have been teaching both in secondary and tertiary institutions who are very poor educators.
Like most things the qualification does not actually prove the skill.
I have an Instructors rating from our governing body. However if i was expected to sit in on the teaching aspects of the USPA ratings, I would do so, I am not above being shown a different way to teach or being shown a different perspective on teaching.
Kallends posts throughout this thread smack of elitism and arrogance, and quite frankly I would not want that sort of attitude in my class or as a coach.
I learn things off people from all walks of life with varying degrees of expertise, some things that initially seem unrelated can have an impact on how see things in the future.
Never be afraid to be open to the possibility you may learn something from someone with less credentials then yourself


(This post was edited by Squeak on Sep 11, 2008, 9:49 PM)


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Sep 12, 2008, 1:52 AM
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Re: [kallend] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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I strongly suspect you would find, as I did, that what you hear about are the rudiments of a few of the things you have been doing for the past 20 years, and nothing more. It is, after all, a *BASIC* course designed specifically for *NOVICES* and lasting less than one day, not a continuing education course designed for those who HAVE been teaching for 20 years already.

I found that the section of *basic* training on how to teach theory was much more than that. Throughout that entire section was sprinkled practical application information related specifically to skydiving.

Had you elected to audit that section, you would have missed all that practical application information.

If one is insulted for having been asked to cover "known" material, maybe an over-active ego plays a large part in one's life.

Maybe I should be insulted when the bigway captain asks me to prove myself on smaller ways first after I've already done tons of them. I dunno.

Maybe I should have been insulted when my FJC instructor asked me prove myself on PLFs even though I had extensive training and practice before the FJC. I dunno.

I think anybody who would turn a "professional educator" loose on a skydiving student without proving his mettle is freakin' crazy.
I think the FAA is crazy for exempting them from its normal requirements.

How did we get off on this topic anyway?

Coaches? Weakest link?
No. DZOs are the weakest link. THEY are the ones who allow the "weakest link" to operate. Some simply for the sake of the almighty dollar.


Squeak  (E 1313)

Sep 12, 2008, 2:06 AM
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Re: [popsjumper] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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Coaches? Weakest link?
No. DZOs are the weakest link. THEY are the ones who allow the "weakest link" to operate. Some simply for the sake of the almighty dollar.
Egg sack lee


klingeme  (D 24728)

Sep 12, 2008, 6:19 AM
Post #80 of 140 (1040 views)
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Re: [JohnDeere] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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Any GOOD teacher is more than willing to listen to another teacher teach! Even if not to learn the matierial but to learn different way to teach different types of students. But then again i thought every teacher knew thatCrazyUnsure

I was an IT trainer for about 6 years and this is what I would do on days I wasn't training or developing course material. I wiould sit in on my co-workers class to find new methods to teach portions of the class and to help them out with suggetions about other ways to teach concepts I felt I had a better way of explaining.

All of this was done the next day and away from the students. Never be a critic in front of the "students".


Mark Klingelhoefer


kallend  (D 23151)

Sep 12, 2008, 8:08 AM
Post #81 of 140 (1026 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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I strongly suspect you would find, as I did, that what you hear about are the rudiments of a few of the things you have been doing for the past 20 years, and nothing more. It is, after all, a *BASIC* course designed specifically for *NOVICES* and lasting less than one day, not a continuing education course designed for those who HAVE been teaching for 20 years already.

I found that the section of *basic* training on how to teach theory was much more than that. Throughout that entire section was sprinkled practical application information related specifically to skydiving.

Had you elected to audit that section, you would have missed all that practical application information.

If one is insulted for having been asked to cover "known" material, maybe an over-active ego plays a large part in one's life.

Maybe I should be insulted when the bigway captain asks me to prove myself on smaller ways first after I've already done tons of them. I dunno.

Maybe I should have been insulted when my FJC instructor asked me prove myself on PLFs even though I had extensive training and practice before the FJC. I dunno.

I think anybody who would turn a "professional educator" loose on a skydiving student without proving his mettle is freakin' crazy.
I think the FAA is crazy for exempting them from its normal requirements.

How did we get off on this topic anyway?

Coaches? Weakest link?
No. DZOs are the weakest link. THEY are the ones who allow the "weakest link" to operate. Some simply for the sake of the almighty dollar.

Weak link: Do you REALLY think a 3 -4 hour lesson on teaching techniques enables anyone to be a teacher? I wonder why REAL teacher education programs aren't all over in 4 hours if that's all it takes? I guess those universities are taking people's money under false pretenses.Wink

I'm sure Aggiedave, with that 3 hour course (taught by a skydiver) under his belt, is a far better educator than someone with 30 years full time teaching experience behind them.

Yep.


DougH  (D License)

Sep 12, 2008, 8:23 AM
Post #82 of 140 (1019 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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Coaches? Weakest link?
No. DZOs are the weakest link. THEY are the ones who allow the "weakest link" to operate. Some simply for the sake of the almighty dollar.

Is there an echo in here? SlyLaugh


kallend  (D 23151)

Sep 12, 2008, 8:50 AM
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Re: [billvon] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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>Maybe Dan BC could learn a thing or two about fall rate control from a USPA
>coach with 120 jumps.

Dan BC thinks the 45 degree rule works. .

Perhaps he needs a professional educator to explain it to him.Wink


Piece  (A 53144)

Sep 12, 2008, 9:26 AM
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Re: [JohnDeere] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

I currently teach at a university for a living. This is only my third year of teaching so my opinions are of limited value but this is the internet so here they areTongue

While it is true that many professors/lecturers are bad teachers I feel that this is often exaggerated by students as an excuse for their own problems. And yes, Kallends many awards are probably an indication of him being an excellent teacher, I have met many people with this kind of recognition and they were always excellent teachers, without exception.

Possibly the most common misconception about teaching in students is that a teacher should be your friend. This is not entirely true. A teacher/student relationship is complicated and can involve a boot in the a** when necessary. This is what the teacher training staff call feedback for the students in our school and it has to be unpleasant, otherwise it won't work. In a classroom setting this feedback ultimately has to be processed by the student. Good students will work to improve while bad students will blame the teacher. I may be wrong about this.


Piece  (A 53144)

Sep 12, 2008, 9:44 AM
Post #85 of 140 (1006 views)
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Re: [kallend] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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Weak link: Do you REALLY think a 3 -4 hour lesson on teaching techniques enables anyone to be a teacher? I wonder why REAL teacher education programs aren't all over in 4 hours if that's all it takes? I guess those universities are taking people's money under false pretenses.Wink

I'm sure Aggiedave, with that 3 hour course (taught by a skydiver) under his belt, is a far better educator than someone with 30 years full time teaching experience behind them.

Yep.

I understand where Kallend is coming from, though he could probably be a bit more diplomatic about itTongue A lot of skydiving instruction is very low quality (not necessarily Aggiedave, I've never met him) and part of that may come from a lack of understanding of how teaching works in general. It took me over a year and a bungled class to begin to develop any understanding of what I'm doing and I'm still learning, and this is with full-time support staff in the form of other teachers with decades of experience at my disposal. My students usually give me good reviews ("I thought I would hate this class but loved it" type deal, I teach mathUnsure) and occasionally perform better than average though I am far from a genuinely good teacher. I am now in my 3rd year of teaching. I have not taken the coaching class yet but it seems inconceivable that anyone who has not tried teaching before could learn anything substantial about it in 3 hours.

Granted, teaching skydiving is probably different from teaching Calculus II. For starters, all of your students want to learn. They are under stress in skydiving though students in universities are also under stress during exams. There are definitely many differences but anyone who thinks that a 3 hour class followed by a few sample briefing/debriefing sessions is enough is crazyCrazy A 3 hour seminar is a formality, not a class... Maybe my opinion will change after I take it.

Honestly, in a sport where good instruction can be the difference between life and death we sure don't seem to take teaching the teachers very seriouslyUnimpressed Perhaps DZs should have teacher training staff in the form of very experienced instructors that are required to mentor less experienced instructors? Maybe even *gasp* student evaluations?


JohnDeere  (D License)

Sep 12, 2008, 10:39 AM
Post #86 of 140 (995 views)
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Re: [kallend] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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Weak link: Do you REALLY think a 3 -4 hour lesson on teaching techniques enables anyone to be a teacher?

It is evedent you can't compretend what a teacher is!
You should look the word up, oh wait your to good for that Crazy. You do not have to have a degree to be a teacher! We are not talking about (liberal) profesors. It must suck to think you are to smart to learn! Skydiving instructors are teachers!! They TEACH skydiving. What is so hard to understand about that. No they may not have a bunch of ass kissing awards but they are teachers!



Quote:
I'm sure Aggiedave, with that 3 hour course (taught by a skydiver) under his belt, is a far better educator than someone with 30 years full time teaching experience behind them.

You are pretty bad at that joke thing, maybe you should look into getting some classes to help you out. I do know one thing thought Most people would rather hear him teach his way than hear you pat yourself on the back all dayCrazy trust me everybody knows your good at that.Unsure


Andy9o8  (D License)

Sep 12, 2008, 2:44 PM
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Re: Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

Are Coaches the Weakest Link?
In reply to:

Zzzzzzzzz....huh? We are talking about this, right?


kallend  (D 23151)

Sep 12, 2008, 3:28 PM
Post #88 of 140 (954 views)
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Re: [JohnDeere] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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In reply to:
In reply to:
We're all sorry. We all know that you're the best teacher to ever have lived.Unsure

Don't know about THAT...

I wasn't going to mention it, but since YOU bring it up, I am the person who was chosen as the mentor for new teaching assistants AND new assistant professors, and I do have 5 "Excellence in Teaching" awards - two more than anyone else in the 115 year history of our school. Smile

Whoa you deserve a cookieCrazy


Well, I didn't get a cookieFrown.



I got a dinner and $1500 for each one. Taxable.


kallend  (D 23151)

Sep 12, 2008, 3:29 PM
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Re: [Andy9o8] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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Are Coaches the Weakest Link?
In reply to:

Zzzzzzzzz....huh? We are talking about this, right?

Does the amount of training in teaching techniqes matter? If not, why bother at all. If so, then this discussion is relevant.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Sep 12, 2008, 3:33 PM
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Re: [kallend] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

>Now, how valuable would it be to your ability to do your job designing
>cell phone systems to sit through two or three hours of circuits 1 again?

Either not valuable at all or a little valuable, most likely.

>Let me emphasize - we're discussing someone who is a professional
>full-time educator having to sit through a very BASIC, very short course in
>education designed for complete novices, taught by someone who has far
>far less experience in education than the professional educator.

Right.

I've sat through first jump courses and learned stuff when I had 1000+ jumps. The one I sat through in Salt Lake City had the best canopy control training I had ever seen, and I applied some of that to my own courses.

Would that happen every time I took an FJC, often taught by people with far less experience skydiving and teaching than me? Probably not. But again, it wouldn't be the end of the world.


NickDG  (D 8904)

Sep 12, 2008, 4:21 PM
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Re: [JohnDeere] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

I know this topic is about "Coaches" (good title USPA, what are they doing? Spotting young gymnasts?) Crazy

But all this talk of teaching skills, classrooms, and so on relates more to what Instructors do. Coaches are more day care for novice skydivers.

You can have all the teacher training in the world, and years in a classroom, and still suck out loud. I've been in plenty of college classes thinking, man, if this guy was teaching skydiving the student fatality rate would skyrocket. It's like taking acting classes for a lifetime, if you have no talent, you'll always just be a server taking dinner orders.

Some people just have the gift for teaching and some don't. And its one thing USPA, and skydiving in general, never paid much attention to. If you teach FJCs for a very long time it really becomes like a Broadway play that runs forever. Opening night is a bit rough, but performance after performance it gets tweaked. You trim here, you add there, you say something one way, then you try to say the same thing another way, and as long as the applause grows louder each night you know you're on the right track.

But unlike Broadway, and more like college, when our little one person, one act play is over our audience doesn't applaud, Instead they get to take a final exam. And if it goes badly it could be a real and true final exam. And you aren't just teaching them one jump. You never know which one or two people in a FJC is going to continue so you have to give everyone of them the tools to make it through the next twenty jumps or until licensed.

And you have to understand that almost anything that could happen to any given jumper on any given jump could happen to someone sitting in your classroom. So you can't neglect anything. From aircraft emergencies to two canopies out and every possibility in between has to be taught (not just covered) in a way first time jumpers can understand and act upon. And it's in these details where some student's eyes begin to glaze over and many Instructors go down in flames.

And I've seen some Instructors who rather than bother (hey, they're mostly one jump Charlie's anyway) skip some of those details. One even said to me he didn't teach two canopies out because they look at the issue from the ground then advise the student via the radio (and besides, it's so rare.) And I've heard the same lame idea about pilot chutes over the nose, canopy damage, and things like that. They rely on the student doing a control check and falling back on when in doubt whip it out. Two things at least these guys still teach.

You can get away with all that for a while but not forever. And if a student does a cutaway he didn't need to (although you'd never tell them that) it's really not the teaching success some Instructors will claim it is. As an Instructor you can't just keep up an acceptable kill ratio over the course of your career. You have to keep up a zero kill ratio over the course of your career. I don't know many, if any, who could continue teaching after having anything to do with the death of a student. And that death need not come on the first jump to be devastating. It could come on the fifth, or the seventh, or the nineteenth.

But some Instructors don't see or accept that depth of responsibility. Put that together with an Instructor without the talent to teach and you, we, all of us, have a big problem. I see Instructors who look daily at the results they are getting from one class to the next and they constantly refine their techniques to produce better students. After all what are students when they walk out of the classroom? They are little versions of you. For good or bad - it's all they can be.

But then there's others who've been doing the same crummy job of teaching FJCs for years and years and they never try to make it better. These are ones who believe there is such a thing as a bad student. But there is no such thing - there are only bad Instructors. These are the ones who are the quickest to pull out the bowling speech when a student isnt learning, and these are the ones who most often resort to yelling and frustration when beginners act like beginners.

Sometimes I wish all Instructors had to face not teaching instruction but some type of mandatory and periodic peer review. I've listened to a lot of Instructors I wish I could walk up to and hang a gold star on, and I've listened to some Instructors I wish I could walk up to, ask to see their Instructor rating card, and then whip out my lighter and burn it.

But we'll never see peer review, or anything along those lines, because USPA doesn't take skydiving instruction that seriously. Let me say that again it's skydiving with students and USPA doesn't take it that seriously.

Fortunately, I believe, overall, the state of our Instructor Corps is pretty damn good. But the small percentage of bad apples does need plucking.

So we have to be self policing. And by that I don't mean we have to police each other I mean you have to police yourself. If you can teach a FJC knowing when to be over the top funny and when to be deadly serious, if you know how to teach to the level of the slowest student without boring the others to tears, if you never miss anything even if you have to use a checklist, if you tweak every class to make it better than the last, and if your students consistently land happy and eager for more, than good god please don't ever give up teaching skydiving.

If that's not how your classes generally go, and you think it's not your fault, here, you can use my lighter . . .

NickD Smile


ozzy13  (D 29344)

Sep 13, 2008, 8:08 AM
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Re: [NickDG] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

 Coaches are more day care for novice skydivers.

QUESTION: College is suppose to prepare you for the real world? ( At least that was what I was told growing up )And if that is so, Then why are you looking at coaches as daycare or babysitters. A good coaches role is to transition a student from self supervision to a licensed skydiver. In other words prepare them for the real world. That's all. Prepare them to jump with others saflyYou don't make the big bucks straight out of college. It takes time. The professor gives the student the tools to survive in the real world. THAT'S WHAT A COACH IS SUPPOSE TO DO. As you go though life you pick up skills here and there to improve your performance and that moves you up the ladder. Well that's what a coach is suppose to do with a student. As far as the requirement I think it should be raised to a C and at least 200 jumps. Just my two cents


(This post was edited by ozzy13 on Sep 13, 2008, 8:15 AM)


kallend  (D 23151)

Sep 13, 2008, 9:05 AM
Post #93 of 140 (890 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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In reply to:
Any GOOD teacher is more than willing to listen to another teacher teach! Even if not to learn the matierial but to learn different way to teach different types of students. But then again i thought every good teacher knew thatCrazyUnsure

LaughLaugh
Arrogance does have its place in the world...it's just so lonely and cold way down there.

IMO, it's never a bad idea to take advantage of learning opportunities...no matter how much you think you know.

This guy seems to have identified a problem with the education students are getting right nowWink


labrys  (D 29848)

Sep 13, 2008, 5:10 PM
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Re: [kallend] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
This guy seems to have identified a problem with the education students are getting right now

Yeah, "that guy" seems to agree that not enough students are encouraged to read the SIM. That has nothing to do with the topic at hand here. You appear to be thrashing for an opportunity to change the subject.


Squeak  (E 1313)

Sep 13, 2008, 6:07 PM
Post #95 of 140 (852 views)
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Re: [labrys] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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Quote:
This guy seems to have identified a problem with the education students are getting right now

Yeah, "that guy" seems to agree that not enough students are encouraged to read the SIM. That has nothing to do with the topic at hand here. You appear to be thrashing for an opportunity to change the subject.
read a few of Kallends' threads, he does tend to do that when things dont go his way. either that or he tries to diminish the thread with smart arse remarks


kallend  (D 23151)

Sep 13, 2008, 6:30 PM
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Re: [labrys] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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Quote:
This guy seems to have identified a problem with the education students are getting right now

Yeah, "that guy" seems to agree that not enough students are encouraged to read the SIM. That has nothing to do with the topic at hand here. You appear to be thrashing for an opportunity to change the subject.

Of course it's associated with the topic of this thread. If the students aren't receiving proper training, the fault lies with those doing the training.


kallend  (D 23151)

Sep 13, 2008, 6:33 PM
Post #97 of 140 (847 views)
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Re: [Squeak] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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In reply to:
Quote:
This guy seems to have identified a problem with the education students are getting right now

Yeah, "that guy" seems to agree that not enough students are encouraged to read the SIM. That has nothing to do with the topic at hand here. You appear to be thrashing for an opportunity to change the subject.
read a few of Kallends' threads, he does tend to do that when things dont go his way. either that or he tries to diminish the thread with smart arse remarks

When you have to resort to an ad hominem attack it shows you have no actual point to make.

If students graduate without reading the SIM then the fault lies with those doing the training.


labrys  (D 29848)

Sep 13, 2008, 6:55 PM
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Quote:
If students graduate without reading the SIM then the fault lies with those doing the training.

No John, the fault lies with those who have ignored the opportunity to learn how to train skydivers because they think training math students or physics students makes them good coaches. The fault lies with those who think they can train skydivers because they know they can train academic research assistants.


Squeak  (E 1313)

Sep 13, 2008, 7:13 PM
Post #99 of 140 (840 views)
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Re: [kallend] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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In reply to:
In reply to:
Quote:

If students graduate without reading the SIM then the fault lies with those doing the training.
SlyBullshit, if a student graduates without adequate TRAINING and instruction, the fault lies with those doing the training.
Whether or not the student reads the S.I.M. is irrelevant



Quote:
When you have to resort to an ad hominem attack it shows you have no actual point to make.
I made my point in my previous post which you seemed to miss, the one where i said your posts were arrogant and elitist.
it ended with
Never be afraid to be open to the possibility you may learn something from someone with less credentials than yourself



(This post was edited by Squeak on Sep 13, 2008, 8:40 PM)


ozzy13  (D 29344)

Sep 13, 2008, 8:02 PM
Post #100 of 140 (830 views)
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Re: [Squeak] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

and the pissing match begins Wink


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